Stranger In My Heart

By Mary Monro

Retracing her father’s heroic escape across China in World War Two leads his daughter on a gripping voyage of discovery about him, China and, inevitably, herself.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

76th Anniversary of Escape

On the night of February 1st 1942, under the light of the full moon, Dad and his two colleagues made their daring escape from Sham Shui Po POW camp in Hong Kong, full of trepidation, in fear of their lives but determined to succeed. Only 33 men ever escaped from Sham Shui Po.

In the last few weeks I have made contact with the families of some of those brave few men. Tony Hewitt's stepson, John Whitehead's daughter and the granddaughter of Lindsay Ride, who founded the POW support organisation the British Army Aid Group (BAAG) after his escape, have all responded very warmly to the news that this story is to be told. I hadn't expected such a sense of community with these people whose only connection with me is 76 years in the past and a generation or two away. Perhaps the act of honour and remembrance that my book represents strikes a chord for them.

The copy edit came back last week and I spent the whole weekend going through it. We are almost at final draft and then it will be possible to print copies to send out to a few extremely kind people who have agreed to read the book, with a view to making pithy comments to quote on the cover. I can't tell you who they are yet, but here are some clues: a leading supporter of the Riding for the Disabled Association (to which I am donating a share of proceeds); an adventurous TV presenter with an interest in WWII; and a very well known author.

From Dad's original report on the conditions in the PoW camp up to the date of his escape:

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